Settled by Bronze Age communities, attracted by Sinai’s copper and turquoise deposits, and later by Pharaonic mining parties, Sinai is most celebrated in history for the Exodus of Israelites towards the Promised Land. Though disputed by historians, Jews, Christians and Muslims believe Gebel Mousa (Mt Sinai) marks the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It remains an important pilgrimage site.
If the interior belongs to God, Sinai’s coast belongs to mammon. Vast resorts fringe the peninsula, attracting biblical numbers of sun-worshippers, attracted by blue skies and world-class diving.
Despite high tourist revenue, the indigenous Bedouin of the Sinai see little investment in their own communities. In recent years their resentment, encouraged by fundamentalists with their own agenda, has led to violence. Tourism continues unabated, however.
Sinai destination guides
Egypt: Exploring the Sinai
The Sinai Peninsula has been a place of refuge for thousands of years. Prophets, nomads, exiles, conquerors, pilgrims and beachcombers alike have all left their footprints in the shifting desert sands.
Pyramids to Petra
Myth, religion and wonder come together on this adventure holiday across the timeless terrain of Egypt and Jordan. Be awed by the mysteries of the Sphinx, the mysticism of Mt Sinai and the sublime stone structures of Petra - discover ancient sites galore.
Jordan & Egypt Express
There's something truly epic about this nine-day adventure through the spectacular, history-steeped landscapes of Jordan and Egypt. Wander the ancient city of Petra, climb Mt Sinai for astounding views and finish up among the souqs and pyramids in Cairo.